Federal proposal to repeal Clean Power Program gets mostly thumbs down at Delaware hearing

WDEL | by Mark Fowser

Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources scheduled what was billed as a listening session Monday in Wilmington. The EPA held only one hearing on the proposal in the east region. It was held in Charleston, West Virginia. The EPA announced the repeal in October 2017, and set a deadline of January 16th to receive public comment.

“The citizens and economy of Delaware are negatively affected by these changes, and if the Clean Power Plan is repealed we will suffer even more,” Governor John Carney, D- Del., said.

A former DNREC secretary returned to The First State to testify at the hearing. Collin O’Mara is now president of the National Wildlife Federation.

“We need to be more engaged than ever, because this is a fight we’re going to win,” O’Mara said. “We’re going to win in the court of public opinion. We’re going to win in the legal courts. We’re going to win the politics.”

From the Caesar Rodney Institute think tank, Dan Stevenson raised questions about the effectiveness and the legality of the Clean Power Plan. Stevenson contended that the EPA at the time exceeded its authority.

“We’re a nation of laws. Rule of law is absolutely important in this country,” Stevenson said. “The EPA basically went off the reservation and they broke all kinds of laws in developing the Clean Power Plan.”

State Representative John Kowalko, D- 25th, testified about his own health challenges that began when he was diagnosed with asbestosis at age 18 when he was an apprentice at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He said a commitment made by elected officials and regulators helped to address the widespread problem of asbestos use and disposal.

“Dismantling the Clean Power Plan poses grave risks to citizens and communities across Delaware and the United States,” Kowalko said. “When it comes to global warming, President Trump needs to accept the science, recognize the reality and put the health and well being of Americans first.”

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